SABIC launches innovation hub

INNOVATIVE: Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, SABIC’s chairman, right, presents a memento to Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar at the inauguration of SABIC’s Home of Innovation facility in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Updated 28 May 2016
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SABIC launches innovation hub

RIYADH: Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) has launched an innovation hub that would develop downstream businesses in the petrochemical industry and help build new energy-saving
smart homes.

Prince Saud bin Abdullah bin Thenayan Al-Saud, SABIC’s chairman, said Wednesday at the launch that the Home of Innovation will be a regional hub for developing and showcasing innovative economic solutions.
Riyadh Gov. Prince Faisal bin Bandar opened the evening event in the presence of Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC’s vice chairman and chief executive officer, senior government officials, business leaders, company executives, and media representatives.
The SABIC Home of Innovation is an initiative “to promote economic growth and technical innovation in Saudi Arabia. It is designed to foster collaboration with other leading companies and target opportunities that address regional and local challenges,” the company said.
“The initiative supports both SABIC’s 2025 strategy and Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision by generating business to promote local downstream industry growth toward a diverse and sustainable economy,” it said on its website.
The Home of Innovation is built on an area of 3,400 square meters in Riyadh’s Techno Valley. It comprises three buildings designed to support the initiative’s goals, including the Collaboration Center, the Technology Showcase, and the Demonstration House, in addition to meeting halls and administration offices.
“The Kingdom is moving ahead with its development journey, aiming to diversify its resources, and leverage its capabilities. SABIC will move at a steady pace toward achieving its 2025 strategy,” the prince said.
“SABIC continues to build talent that is capable of dealing with all business challenges, through furthering the role of the SABIC Academy. We believe the creativity, flexibility and talent of our human resources will allow us to continue discovering new opportunities,” he said.
Outlining the unique features of the Demonstration House found within the Home of Innovation, Al-Benyan said he was hopeful that the construction industry would adopt the high-performance principles and practices from the Demonstration House to develop more sustainable home building in the Kingdom.
“It is our hope that it will inspire and lead the construction industry to incorporate its innovative yet proven technologies, materials, products and systems toward improving building performance.
“It is a place where partners, thought leaders, end-users, specifiers, converters, investors and government officials can come together to experience the high-performance Demonstration Home and do business.”
At a press conference before the inaugural ceremony, Awadh Al-Maker, SABIC’s executive vice president, technology and innovation, said: “The Home of Innovation will foster collaboration among industry-leading companies, the government agencies in the Kingdom, academia, investors, and others interested in the sustainable economic future of the Kingdom and Middle East.”


First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

Updated 17 July 2019
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First group of Sri Lankan Muslims begin Hajj journey

  • 4,000 to partake in this year’s pilgrimage after Saudi Arabia increased quota

COLOMBO: Nearly 180 Sri Lankan Hajj pilgrims left for Saudi Arabia on Monday night, but not before thanking the Kingdom for the comprehensive facilities offered to them.

Mohamed Hashim Mohamed Haleem, Sri Lanka’s minister of postal services and Muslim religious affairs, said that this year’s issuing of Hajj visas was smooth due to the new e-Hajj services introduced by the Saudi government. 

“We were able to process all 4,000 Hajj visas efficiently. All of them were issued well in time,” Haleem said.

He added that officials from his ministry will be available at the airport to assist the pilgrims with their departures.

The minister said the flights of pilgrims this year will be ferried by both Saudi Arabian Airlines and Sri Lankan Airlines. Haleem, who intends to participate in this year’s Hajj, said that the last flight of Sri Lankan pilgrims will leave Colombo on Aug. 7.

Sajjath Mohammed, a journalist from Madawala News, praised the e-Hajj service, saying: “The biometric services for the visas were available to pilgrims in Kandy and Batticaloa in addition to Colombo, the capital of the island.”

Rizmi Reyal, president of the International Airline Ticketing Academy in Sri Lanka, said that this year the Hajj services from Colombo have been enhanced to give a better experience to the pilgrims. He thanked the Saudi government, the Muslim Religious Affairs Ministry in Colombo, the Saudi Embassy in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Embassy in Riyadh for playing their part in these improvements.

The Sri Lankan government will also send a medical team to attend to any urgent needs of the pilgrims before they are taken to the nearest medical facilities in the two holy cities.